Jeffrey L. Hemmer

Senior Vice President, Solution Implementation
Sinclair Group
BSChe '80

For his technical and high-level managerial experience and contributions to the global success of chemical engineering

When Jeff Hemmer's son went to college, he gave the young man a piece of advice that could well have come from the script for his own life: "Success in college is about managing distractions and learning to prioritize, which means putting first things first and always taking actions consistent with where you want to be in five to 10 years."

Hemmer, who was born in Lafayette, Ind., clearly had a plan when he chose chemical engineering over teaching. So did his twin brother, who holds a chemical engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Hemmer has spent his career in the petrochemical industry, strategically working his way through nearly every functional area that makes up a business.

Over 29 years, he has served in numerous vice president positions, overseeing supply chain, information technology, and a business unit. He has also directed business process improvement and managed operations, technology, engineering and licensing groups. Half of Hemmer's career has been in global roles. His work with Exxon took him overseas to Antwerp, Belgium, where his daughter was born.

One of the most challenging and rewarding jobs Hemmer had was leading integration efforts for the mergers that created Equistar as a joint venture of Lyondell and Millennium Chemicals and, subsequently, Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

In fall 2008, Hemmer traded a job within the industry for one outside it to enable him to draw on his broad business experience and fulfill a new goal. As newly appointed senior vice president for Sinclair Group, he has joined a consulting firm that offers strategic planning, operations excellence, and due diligence support for the process and chemical industries.

"What inspires me is being able to apply my leadership and change management skills across the industry versus inside any one company," he says.

Hemmer has also contributed to the field of chemical engineering through leadership on the School of Chemical Engineering's Advisory Council, where he co-chaired the accreditation and undergraduate recruiting committees. Taking, as always, a forward-thinking view that anticipates a continuing need for engineers with a broad perspective, Hemmer sees a need for talent that is "highly curious, willing to take risks, and able and open to finding and learning how to operate in new ways." His own son, who now holds a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M University, is among this new generation of engineers.

Purdue Engineering, he proudly says of his alma mater, has made a reputation in the industry for graduates who "aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and try new things." Sounds a bit like Hemmer himself, who balances work with community volunteer activities including membership on the board of Houston's Mission Milby Community Development Corporation, whose vision is to provide, "A Village of Hope for the Neighborhood."

"As you get older," Hemmer says. "You move from wanting success to wanting significance. My motivation is seeing others do things they didn't think were possible and finding that all those fears they had about making some change were mostly made up in their own mind."

Career Highlights

2008-present Senior Vice President, Solution Implementation
The Sinclair Group, Ltd.
2004-2008 Vice President, Pipelines
Lyondell Chemical
2001-2003 Vice President, Supply Chain
Lyondell Chemical
2001 Executive Director
ChE Outstanding Alumni Award, Purdue University
1997-2008 School of Chemical Engineering Advisory Council
Purdue University
1997-2001 Various positions, including Vice President, Customer Supply Chain; Vice President, Information Technology; and Director, Business Process Improvement
Equistar Chemicals, LP
1997 Director, Engineering and Licensing
Millennium Petrochemical
1980-1997 Various positions, including manager of polyethylene process and engineering technology for worldwide operations.
Exxon Chemical

BSChE '80, Purdue University